I could hear them long before I could see them. I was sitting at the table, near the front door at Subway. The local Subway sandwich store, where I often eat lunch, is located in the front of the Wal-Mart store. It was lunchtime and people were pouring into Wal-Mart to do their shopping.
The family I am describing was a young mom and three children. Two of the kids were walking alongside the shopping cart. The third child who was making the noise was in the buggy seat of the shopping cart. I have no idea what happened in the parking lot, but clearly it was not finished by the time they entered the store.
I looked at the faces of other people inside the Wal-Mart and several had pained looks of expression. I am not exaggerating, this child was so worked up and unhappy about something his volume was causing some alarm for other patrons. Everyone had turned to look at what was the source of this disturbance.
Thankfully the volume from his lamentations began to lower the farther inside the store they went. Maybe the clothing section acted as a buffer and helped to muffle the loud noise. At any rate, it was an uncomfortable thirty seconds or so for most people inside.
As I finished my lunch and walked back to the car I couldn’t help but relive the scene. This young mom was doing her best to stay in control of the situation, pushing her cart quickly through the doors with purpose and direction. I’m sure she was thinking, “I’ll get what I need and get out of here before they call the police.”
All the while, her youngest child was making his negative feelings known to the world; determined he was not going to go quietly. Mom may have been bigger but he was louder. The other two siblings seemed frozen and paralyzed with fear. They had that look like, “Oh no, is mom going to kill him now and get it over with!”
I felt terrible for everyone involved, myself included. Clearly the little guy was not happy. His meltdown on aisle one was causing an uncomfortable moment for everyone else. What may have started as a good idea to buy a few groceries turned into a disastrous entrance for this mom at the front door.
In life, things can go so wrong, so fast. A private moment suddenly goes viral and very public. Our best effort to communicate effectively and use reasoning skills to find a solution to our problems can quickly disappear. Everyone has probably had moments like I described in the story today. Sometimes we need some encouragement to Stay Positive.
Join us this weekend at Journey worship, part 3, we’ll share a few thoughts how to stay encouraged and encourage others. Whether you’re the one kicking and screaming, or just in the crowd with the one who is. Check things out this weekend.